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Some of my fondest memories of growing up are times that were spent with my cousins. I’m so glad that my kids have cousins to grow with, play with & learn with too. After we returned from the Fall Break Trip, my sister Darci & her 3 kids came to visit us as they were still on their fall break. Here’s some pictures from their time with us.

One of the nice things about the new van is that it can seat up to 6 (small) people in the back. We couldn’t get all their faces, but you get the idea. Darci’s 3 are in the front row & my 3 in the back.

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On Tuesday morning when it was time for me to shape my weekly sour dough loaves-I had lots of help. I told Nick that it ought to taste extra sweet this week with these 3 sweeties “help.” They gave the dough lots of pats. And they LOVED spreading the flour on the counter.

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We went to the Johnson City Hands On Children’s Museum & the kids thoroughly enjoyed the exhibits.

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On Sunday Nick took the 2 big boys on a hike on Buffalo Mtn which is a state park very close to our house.

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Here they reached the top of their trail.

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We also enjoyed “Music in the Park” on Sunday, jumping at Wallabies Monday, getting candy at The Lollipop Shop & chocolates at Earth & Sky, watched Will’s soccer game & ate pizza at Cootie Browns. We were sad when they had to go. It’s never long enough, but treasured memories nonetheless.

Over the kids’ fall break from school we celebrated one of their grandma’s birthdays by going to the Outer Banks with her and some other family members that could come. We had tons of fun! It was a beautiful place & we thoroughly enjoyed the chance to relax together & re-connect. Here are some photos from our time there….
The house where we all stayed

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Granny with Clara & Fritz on the beach

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Nick grading papers in the hammock at the house

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Fritz & Granny riding in the big Hummer for the Wild Horse tour (yes-we saw many horses, but I dropped my phone between the seats early on & couldn’t get any pics of them)

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Unfortunately, we had lots of weather like this.

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But we didn’t let the rain ruin our party! We found lots of things to do. Like climb the lighthouse in Corolla-close to where we stayed. This is a picture of the outside & grounds (it’s actually a puzzle!)

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And here’s Nick & Helen working on that 550 piece puzzle. It was actually pretty difficult! (I thought!)

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This is the inside of the lighthouse. It has very thick red brick walls & a metal spiral staircase all the way up. Clara decided she didn’t love that you could see through the stairs & thus daddy got to carry her all the way down. 😉

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This was a shot taken from the top of the lighthouse. The blue speck is Helen waiting for us on the ground.

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We also enjoyed a short hike through the “maritime forrest” near the lighthouse & Corolla village. It ended at a dock looking out to the sound.

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Despite only having one day that was really sunny, we managed to still enjoy the pool, the hot tub & the beach.

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We were sad when the week was over & we had to say good-bye. The trip home proved to be exciting. About an hour into our 9 hour trip home, our poor old van’s transmission went out (again! We had replaced it 2 yrs ago!) Luckily only the top gear went out so we were able to drive about 45 mph for 75 miles or so to the nearest dealership with a used van we were interested in. Praise The Lord for cell phones with Internet service in the middle of nowhere so we could even accomplish that! And praises that the car didn’t just quit there & we didn’t have to tow the sad van 8 hrs home & get a rental somehow in what seemed like a very remote area. Sweet Bessie. (The van) She served us for 4 yrs. We left her in Rocky Mount, NC & after 3.5 hr of negotiations & drove home in our new 2011 Honda Odyssey. She’s pretty…and I enjoy driving her…and I’m glad she’s “more reliable” but it really stinks to have a car payment. {Please don’t tell Dave!!😔}

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It was a trip to remember. 😊

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